North Dakota infrastructure fund on track due to oil rebound

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Oil rig(KFYR)
Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 11:40 AM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A major spending initiative aimed at infrastructure projects outside North Dakota’s oil patch is on pace to be fully funded for the first time since the Legislature approved it three years ago, due to strong oil prices and steady production.

“Operation Prairie Dog” is supposed to provide $250 million in every two-year budget cycle for infrastructure spending in non-oil producing areas.

The Legislature assumed oil production and prices would hold after passing the bill, but they slipped due to the pandemic and only about $30 million was distributed in the last budget cycle.

Oil revenues during the budget cycle that ends next year already are over $730 million more than forecast due to greater-than-expected oil prices and steady production, state budget data shows.

Joe Morrissette, the state’s top budget writer, said that if oil revenue continues at the current rate, Prairie Dog will be fully funded this current budget cycle.

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